Uralochka stuns Kinef, advantage Sabadell
The Russian derby produced the most unexpected result in the quarter-finals as Uralochka soundly beat 2017 and 2018 champion Kirishi. Sabadell earned a two-goal advantage against Olympiacos in the re-match of the 2019 final, while UVSE claimed a big win in Mataro.
Quarter-finals, 1st leg: Astralpool-Sabadell (ESP) v Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) 14-12, Kinef Surgutneftegas Kirishi (RUS) v Dynamo Uralochka (RUS) 8-11, CN Mataro (ESP) v UVSE Budapest Hunguest Hotels (HUN) 9-12, Lifebrain SIS Rome (ITA) v Dunaujvarosi Foiskola (HUN) 11-11 (played on Wednesday) – Second leg: 13 March
In the all-Russian clash Uralochka came up with a superb performance in Kirishi. Former winner Kinef fought hard in the end to retain at least some hope for the return leg since the visitors rushed to a 2-7 lead in the third and still led 5-10 before the last period. Then the hosts netted three in a row to cut the gap to two but Elvina Karimova scored an action goal to secure a
three-goal advantage for Dynamo.
Sabadell and Olympiacos produced a brilliant match, just like in the last final contested in this competition back in the Easter weekend of 2019. The title-holder Spaniards took a 6-4 lead deep into the second period but then the Greeks had a great spell and with a 1-5 run they went 7-9 ahead in the third, then Catharina van der Sloot hit a double in 63 seconds to tie the match once
more. The final period began at 10-10, the five-time winner host side netted two and kept the two-goal lead till the end.
The other Spanish side Mataro tried to hold off UVSE for a while but the Hungarians got rolling in the middle of the third and claimed a win which looks decisive. The hosts could never take the lead in the game and chasing their experienced rivals burnt too much energy. Though they could climb back from 4-7 to 6-7 before the last period but three more goals from the Magyars early in the fourth put the Budapest based club into a comfortable position before the second leg.
The fourth clash was played on Wednesday and 2018 Super Cup winner Dunaujvaros managed to keep the only Italian side on equal terms in Rome. Dorottya Szilagyi was instrumental in the Hungarians’ campaign as she netted 6, the most brilliant individual effort in the first leg.